Monday, April 27, 2009

Virtual Reality

Usually doctors and family members can only imagine what it feels like to experience the delusions and hallucinations that can haunt someone with schizophrenia. An engineer and a psychiatrist at Western Psychiatric Institute collaborated to form a virtual reality simulation of the disease. In one scenario, the person is walking in downtown Pittsburgh. The walk is jarring - voices tell you to pick up knives, visuals appear that may not really be there.

The program is meant to be used as a training tool - for medical residents and crisis intervention teams in police departments. It can also be used to help family members of a person with the disease understand what their relative is going through.

To listen to a report about the program click here.

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